Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Census - doomed & dangerous?

Tuesday 8th of August 2006: the day of the 5-yearly Australian census. My prediction for the future; the next census in 2011 will be the last.

Why we need to have a survey that retrieves the information requested is beyond me, gone are the days of it being the only record of how many people there are (remember Joseph and an expectant Mary returning to their place of birth?). With massive database systems for health, welfare, tax, banking, education, employment that can be queried relatively quickly - surely information for statisical purposes can be sourced through these. These databases are all being linked anyway to crack down on welfare cheats and tax evaders.

What's more, people guard personal information and are reluctant to give it out - and rightly so, some questions were very personal. What happens if in the future this information is no longer guarded by the acts we have in place now, the whole database could probably fit on a standard computer's hard drive. Then you get people giving inaccurate data such as being a smart arses to get "Jedi" recognised as a religion.

The census is a relic from the past, and in my opinion is not only redudant, but raises too much suspicion as to what the information may be used for in the future.


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